Pandemic proves why we must reduce our dependence on China

Beyond travel, a trans-Tasman bubble is an opportunity for Australia and NZ to reduce dependence on China.

boxes made in china on a conveyor belt
www.shutterstock.com

Hongzhi Gao, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington and Monica Ren, Macquarie University

When it comes to our economic over-reliance on China, New Zealand consumers need look no further than their most popular big box chain, The Warehouse. The familiar ‘big red shed’ sourced about 60 per cent of its home brand stock from China in 2017 – and a further $NZ62 million in products directly through offices in China, India and Bangladesh in 2019.

In Australia, many major chain stores as well as online retail giant kogan.com are in a similar position. Reliant on China for much of what they sell, including exclusive home-brand items, they are part of what has been described as the world’s most China-reliant economy.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown Australian and New Zealand businesses’ dependence on China into stark relief. With countries reportedly competing with and undercutting each other to secure desperately needed medical supplies from China, many are now waking up to their economic exposure to a single manufacturing giant.

Understandably, discussions about creating a ‘trans-Tasman bubble’ between Australia and New Zealand have focused on kick-starting economic activity in the short term, particularly through tourism. But both countries also need to take a longer-term view of boosting economic activity – including through increased manufacturing and trade integration.


Read more: High-tech shortages loom as coronavirus shutdowns hit manufacturers


The statistics support this. In 2018, 20 per cent of global trade in the manufacturing of ‘intermediate’ products (which need further processing before sale) came from China. Chinese manufacturing (including goods made from components made in China) also accounted for:

  • 35 per cent of household goods
  • 46 per cent of hi-tech goods
  • 54 per cent of textiles and apparel
  • 38 per cent of machinery, rubber and plastic
  • 20 per cent of pharmaceuticals and medical goods
  • 42 per cent of chemical products.

Australia and New Zealand are no exception, with China the number one trading partner of both. Australia earned 32.6 per cent of its export income from China in 2019, mostly from natural resource products such as iron ores, coal and natural gas, as well as education and tourism.

Inside a Bunnings store in Australia: many of the shelves would be empty without goods sourced from China. www.shutterstock.com

From New Zealand, 23 per cent of exports (worth $NZ20 billion) went to China in 2019, and much of the country’s manufacturing has moved to China over the past 20 years. The China factor in New Zealand supply chains is also crucial, with a fifth of exports containing Chinese components.

Supply shortages from China
The world is now paying a price for this dependence on China. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 there has been volatility in the supply of products ranging from cars and Apple phones to food ingredients and hand sanitiser packaging.

More worryingly, availability of popular over-the-counter painkiller paracetamol was restricted due to Chinese factory closures. This is part of a bigger picture that shows Australia now importing over 90 per cent of medicines and New Zealand importing close to $NZ1.59 billion in pharmaceutical products in 2019. Overall, both countries are extremely vulnerable to major supply chain disruptions of medical products.

For all these reasons, a cooperative trans-Tasman manufacturing strategy should be on the table right now and in any future bilateral trade policy conversations.


Read more: Australia depends less on Chinese trade than some might think


Opportunities for Australia and NZ
Rather than each country focusing on product specialisation or setting industrial priorities in isolation, the two economies need to discuss how best to pool resources, add value and enhance the competitive advantage of strategic industries in the region as a whole.

Currently, trans-Tasman trade primarily involves natural resources and foodstuffs flowing from New Zealand to Australia, with motor vehicles, machinery and mechanical equipment flowing the other way. Manufacturing is skewed towards Australia, but closer regional integration would mean increased flows of capital, components and finished products between the countries. We have seen this already in the primary and service sectors but not much in the manufacturing sector, especially from New Zealand to Australia.

Medical technologies and telecommunications equipment manufacturing (both critical during the pandemic) stand out as potential new areas of economic integration. In that sense, it was heartening to see major medical tech companies such as Res-Med Australia and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare in New Zealand rapidly scale up their production capacities to build respiratory devices, ventilators, and other personal protective equipment products.


Read more: China turns on the charm and angers Trump as it eyes a global opportunity in coronavirus crisis


These brands enjoy a global technology edge, smart niche positioning and reputations for innovation. We need more of these inside a trans-Tasman trade and manufacturing bubble.

China still vital but balance is crucial
Key to successful regional integration will be the pooling of research and development (R&D) resources, mutual direct investment, subsidising R&D and manufacturing in emerging markets with profits from another (such as China), and value-adding specialisation in the supply chain. For example, Tait Communication in New Zealand recently invested in a new facility based in one of Australia’s largest science, technology and research centres.

Together, we can make a bigger pie.

None of this means cutting ties with China, which will remain the main importer of primary produce and food products from Australasia for the foreseeable future. And Chinese exports will still be vital. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare sells its products in about 120 countries, for example, but some of its key raw materials suppliers are Chinese.

Getting this dynamic balancing right will be key to Australia and New Zealand prospering in the inevitably uncertain – even divided – post-pandemic global business environment. And you never know, maybe one day we’ll see a ‘made in Australia and New Zealand’ label in the aisles of The Warehouse and Bunnings.The Conversation

Hongzhi Gao, Associate professor, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Monica Ren, Lecturer/ Assistant Professor, Macquarie University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

Would you be prepared to pay more for products to support an Australian-New Zealand trade pact?

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    COMMENTS

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    Tanker
    7th May 2020
    4:14pm
    So much of this dependence is because Australian owned businesses wanted a cheaper source of product. We, the consumer, didn't necessarily buy any cheaper because of that.
    The modern approach to pricing is to charge what the market will pay. Capitalism 1.01.
    Companies all over the World have moved to buy product, be it components or complete items, from China and that is the cold hard truth.
    What to do about it is really tricky as China buys so much from Australia and we are possibly the most vocal supporter of free trade around the World as our agricultural industry depends on it.
    In light of that be careful what you wish for because if it comes true it may not give the result you expected.
    Jennifer
    7th May 2020
    4:15pm
    YES, I WOULD PAY MORE FOR GOODS MANUFACTURED OUTSIDE OF CHINA, so long as hopefully the markup wouldn't be massive and the quality would be of good standard. In fact, I always look for products that are of non China manufacture/produce when shopping and if an alternative item is available at a reasonable price (even though higher than the China made item), I will buy the non China made product. In any case, there are so many cheap and nasty products that are manufactured in China that come with a low price tag, but purchasing them is akin to being penny wise and pound foolish ….I have learnt that to my own detriment. And YES, let this be the start of Australia becoming more resourceful, being independent, open up manufacture here in Australia once again as it was years and years ago. We have learnt a bitter lesson indeed; just as we were resilient with the recent bushfires and oh so many other challenges in our country, so should we be equally if not more resilient in strategies (certainly would have to be long term) to establish manufacture and supply independent of this country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "Australia must come out from under the doona"; lets hope that our leaders and we as a nation, can rise to this challenge without China covertness.
    Incognito
    7th May 2020
    4:31pm
    I try to avoid Chinese products and always check Australia made website to see if there is a local alternative, prices does cause an issue at times but not always, especially if you after quality and guarantees of the product. One thing that needs to be looked at is how can China and Hong Kong send items cheaper using our postal system but an Australian person or business has to pay a lot more, you only have to look at ebay to check the prices, and it goes for books sent from overseas mainly the UK, you get free shipping but in Australia you have to pay at least $9.
    PlanB
    7th May 2020
    4:36pm
    I have been sating this for years -- and have avoided buying from anything O/S at all -- very hard to do in clothes and such but I will NOT buy anything other than Aussie in food -- and that is Aussie GROWN AND MADE AND OWNED

    Alo be aware that NZ can and does import and relabel -- so NZ stuff could come from God knows where

    In the 1940s and 50s we made everything here AND everyone had jobs too, it is about time it happened again!
    Brissiegirl
    7th May 2020
    4:40pm
    PlanB you are correct about foodstuffs sneakily being re-routed into Australia from New Zealand. I think it's unacceptable that New Zealand allows itself to be complicit in this devious practice. Check everything.
    Viking
    7th May 2020
    5:18pm
    It's not only foodstuffs from NZ that are relabelled. We were told that Lazy Boy furniture was made in NZ but labels inside when we turned it upside down were Chinese.
    On the Ball
    7th May 2020
    10:20pm
    Yes, PlanB. We need our Government to introduce proper food labelling!
    I cannot understand why they resist!
    Proper labelling means country of origin, in the same size lettering as every thing else on the packet!
    No good (for us oldies) putting a label on a can if we cant read it! Thus is done for ONLY ONE REASON!
    Re the New Zealand fiasco: Some well know Aussie brands of frozen peas have "Made in New Zealand from local and imported products" some have "Grown in New Zealand"

    The "Chinese Model" is to undercut the competition, or provided it free, then make the $$$ in other ways .
    We hear a lot about people using "Zoom" to keep in touch during the isolation.
    There are (and have been for years) many other products that do the same job, except they cost money, AND they are secure...
    So the "Chinese Model" is to provide it free, and make the $$$ by selling the information they get from it. Now, users of Zoom, what information have you given the Chinese?
    Once installed on your computer, it has access to everything on it. Contact lists, picture files, facebook information, location information, google (and Chrome) history...
    That information is very valuable to advertising companies (and less honourable establishments). Ever wonder why these apps are free?
    FrankC
    8th May 2020
    3:31pm
    Yes I agree Plan B. As you say many years ago it worked well we were self reliant and that was good for everybody, but then the unions, and workers started pushing for higher and higher wages, because they couldn't see any further than the end of their noses Look how many businesses have moved to Asia. I remember Toyota saying they can manufacture 4 cars in Asia for the cost of manufacturing one in Australia, I think that says it all.
    It would be marvelous if we could see "Made in Australia and New Zealand" on a label. And yes I would be prepared to pay more for goods manufactured her, and I am on Age Pension.
    PlanB
    9th May 2020
    12:02pm
    Trouble is On the Ball -- these companies get their stuff made for sweet BA in other slave counties but they still charge us wounded bull prices so it is THEM that is making the money -- this has to stop as well as the blasted governments selling us out to line their own pockets --
    EVEN SELLING OUT OUR WATER TO THE BLASTED CHINESE!

    I am willing to pay more for AUSSIE made grown and owned and I do when I can

    I must say that if there had been no Unions we would have still been working for nothing -- like Howards wants like when he brought in 'work choices'
    Incognito
    9th May 2020
    1:32pm
    "Work choices" is a joke, if you don't agree with the choice you get sacked.
    Hoohoo
    11th May 2020
    4:58pm
    Australian-owned companies also re-label cheap Chinese clothing. They order in say 500 blue school shirts (in varying sizes) for about AUS$1 each, landed, and have their own brand with "Australian made" labels (made in China) sewn into the collar. Then they embroider the school crest onto the chest pocket (supplied separately) then sew that pocket on, which is enough for them to be able to legally claim "Australian made".

    I'm fairly sure Oz is as bad as NZ when it comes to legal cheating.
    Viking
    11th May 2020
    6:23pm
    Hoohoo, you are probably right. Country of Origin rules are based on 'value added.' If you buy t-shirts for $1.00 its not too difficult to add value by 100% to comply.
    Hoohoo
    12th May 2020
    5:55pm
    The problem is this - my business' income has been reduced to 1/5th of what it was ten years ago, due directly to cheap Chinese (& Pakistani & Vietnamese) imports.

    Of course, I can't produce a quality plain tee shirt for less than $20 cost price, and that's using cotton fabric from overseas (because there's not a single manufacturing wholesale mill remaining in Australia, except for hosiery mills). The last Australian mill shut down in Melbourne over 15 years ago.

    But I'm proud to say my workers enjoy decent conditions and pay, unlike these poor workers from overseas in sweatshops.

    I think people need to make a moral decision when choosing cheap imports. Are these poor people's jobs worth preserving? Is this the world we want to create? Don't get me wrong, I feel very sorry for these poor slaves. This exposes the very ugly underbelly of capitalism at the life and death edge. Dog eat dog. Master and slave. Don't kid yourselves it isn't thus.
    Brissiegirl
    7th May 2020
    4:36pm
    Unions caused Australian manufacturing to disappear. When unions were greedily, short-sightedly, demanding excessively high wages for basic jobs, that's when Australian manufacturing businesses started to fold. The car-building industry is a perfect example. And people will still buy cheap stuff from China unless all Chinese imports are hit with a mighty big tariff. After all this, we now know what we have to do to protect our economy: BUY NOTHING CHINESE. Buy Australian where possible,and/or look carefully for imported goods sourced from Western countries.
    Pass the Ductape
    7th May 2020
    6:10pm
    It isn't all the unions fault....it's called free enterprise!

    They act on behalf of union members (Aussie workers) and just the same as anyone else, they are entitled to bargain for the best price - in this case the only thing they have to bargain with is their labour.

    Ask any company rep who works to achieve the best price he or she can get for their company....Woolworths just one example. Alan Joyce is another. No way that man is worth what he's paid - and he's just one of thousands - and at least the worker pays for his own lunch!

    Here's the deal...if the worker dropped their wage by half tomorrow, how many company execs or tradespeople (you know the ones - those who complain incessantly that workers wages are too high) - would follow suit? My bet is absolutely none!

    Their own worth is based upon what a worker gets - so in essence the more any union pushes for a pay raise for it's members, so also do the 'union bashers' enjoy the benefits.
    Incognito
    7th May 2020
    6:15pm
    Maybe that is why we have to pay more for goods in Australia because of the CEO' s inflated wages?
    McDaddy
    8th May 2020
    9:07am
    Car line workers priced themselves out of a job? Give yourself an uppercut! How dare they want a fair standard of living. Unbelievable.
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    5:20pm
    Same old same old Brissie Girl, American propaganda, u must be a trump clone, - do you for a second believe that working people in Australia are now better off without unions?
    Viking
    11th May 2020
    8:11pm
    Brissiegirl. Bad management begets bad unions and we have had bad management in spades. A $1 million part salary or bonus for a CEO would give 1,000 workers an extra $20.00 per week but few companies today employ so many but when was the last time if ever that you heard a board saying they couldn't afford to pay their CEO another $1million?
    In my experience management rarely draws out the real value of their workers, the people on the shop floor who have a far better idea of how to improve the products and efficiency than anyone on the highly paid board. I have visited hundreds of companies where senior management don't even know how to talk to their workers. Workers have a far greater stake in the future of the company than any executive sitting on a multi-million nest egg and an obscene termination bonus.
    Hoohoo
    12th May 2020
    6:18pm
    Brissiegirl, Unions are the only thing that have protected working class Australians from slavery sweatshops like in Asia. Do you really think Australian workers should have to compete with peasants on less than $2ph? Do you?

    Or worse, some Indians are born into bonded slavery, because their parents are indebted to the corporate landowner who took over their fields. It often starts when the peasant farmer borrows money from Big Ag chemical companies for the latest engineered seed to crop. (Sold to them cheap at first, just like drug dealers). Unfortunately, the seed is sterile so they have to keep on buying the patented seed year after year, so more and more debt. Then they have to buy the herbicides and pesticides, specifically designed for the crop to resist. Eventually the bank forecloses and they lose the land their ancestors have farmed for centuries. Yet they still own the debt and so do their children.

    I'll name names: Bayer, Monsanto, Roundup. These incredibly successful companies are the monsters ruining our Earth and people.
    Incognito
    12th May 2020
    7:17pm
    Those farming areas in India that got swindled by Bayer/Monsanto have high incidents of suicide too, but do they care, of course not, a greedy selfish dangerous toxic company who is ruining the planet and making people very sick.
    Baby Huey
    7th May 2020
    5:06pm
    Australia, New Zealand, and most of the rest of the world became reliant on low quality cheap Chinese products and complacent to the fact that the CCP and PLA had another agenda: political and economic domination.
    The China virus has exposed the CCP and PLA for what they are: Only interested in making money at expense of others. What other ethical moral nation, fully knowing that a deadly virus is spreading would come to Australia, a country they had already infected, buy up 90 tonnes of critical medical supplies, ship them back to China, and then try to sell the supplies back to Australia at a higher price.
    Globalisation is a good thing. However, it needs to be reassessed and reset to function to the benefit of the world.
    Brissiegirl
    7th May 2020
    5:33pm
    Don't forget also that the plane which landed with 90 tonnes of over-priced previously sourced critical medical supplies was told to bugger off back to China but not without a full load of our baby formula.
    Australians should be outraged, and not going to take it any more.
    Hoohoo
    11th May 2020
    5:16pm
    I'm not too sure about Globalisation being a good thing. It's a great thing for multinationals and their CEO's, that's for certain.

    But is it a good thing that Singer sewing machines were manufactured specifically for children to operate? (guess where).
    Is it a good thing that Australian clothing manufacturers are competing with those Chinese companies who exploit child labour?

    Governments always talk about a level playing field, but I'm yet to see it when it comes to developing countries who are overpopulated and don't allow Unions to regulate conditions for workers.
    Even the USA, the greatest capitalist country in the world, subsidises their farmers and farm produce. This has happened for decades, before Trump ever mentioned protectionism. The European Union does the same thing with farm produce.

    Australia seems to be the only sucker first world country that actually applies the "level playing field" rule and that's why Riverina farmers pulled out hundreds of acres of orange groves some years ago, because Californian oranges (including the freight!) were cheaper for Woolies, Coles, etc. It's a joke. Like the Emperor's New Clothes (invisible)

    I betcha some other country (maybe even the USA?) will sell (subsidise) their barley to China to capture that market, now that China is threatening Australia with putting tariffs on Australian-grown barley.
    Suddha
    7th May 2020
    5:08pm
    Reading most of the comments lets stick together and boycott all the cheap stuff coming especially from China. Hopefully the Federal Government will step up and stop the State Premiers from selling our houses, factories, etc to the Chinese. All students arriving from overseas on study Visa's should be made to return home once they have completed their studies and if they still want to come back apply through the correct channels where hopefully the security checks etc will be more stringent.This will also help to give real Aussies jobs.
    Pass the Ductape
    7th May 2020
    6:13pm
    You have my vote Suddha!
    Mary
    8th May 2020
    8:30am
    You also have my vote Suddha
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    5:34pm
    Suddha, many of the comments are knee jerk, but what are you saying about the students? - do we want them to pay for what we can teach them? or go elsewhere?

    Isn't it a part of getting to know our huge manufacturing neighbour to take their children and show them our friendly and co-operative lifestyle? - And so keep our Universities functioning that our Govt does not seem to want to?

    Who wants to close down or warp our universities, ? the bloody Neo-Liberals! - who want everything judged by money, - each student, each exam, each teacher, - in the US, right down to the Primary kids, money money money. - we all need to think a bit more widely, - let's not get sucked into Their greed, the Chinese are Saints in comparison.
    baza18
    7th May 2020
    5:20pm
    Main things that destroyed our manufacturing were the Whitlam Govt signing the Lima Agreement in 1975 (If you haven't heard of it Google It) Plus Hawke /Keating dropping our tariffs dramatically, plus greed , shareholders wanting more profits so companies went offshore for cheaper labour. Unfortunately now it's iriversible
    Pass the Ductape
    7th May 2020
    6:18pm
    You can't say that Bazza!!! Whitlam and Hawke not doing their best for the worker? Never! (He says with sarcasm).
    Hoohoo
    12th May 2020
    6:32pm
    Globalism. Level playing field. All BS in my opinion.

    But do you buy that cheap Chinese rubbish made by poor peasants in sweatshop conditions?

    Money is the new religion for both Communism and Capitalism. People don't count. We are the pawns that create their huge wealth - they couldn't do it without us. Thank heavens for Oz Unions.

    And COVID may turn out to be a blessing in disguise now that people have been weaned off rampant consumerism. People are asking themselves "What is really important?" Relationships and the natural world is my answer.
    Viking
    7th May 2020
    5:40pm
    The solution would be to undertake a strategic analysis of all essential supplies and put a variable import quota on those items which we can make locally. This would provide a guaranteed market for Australian manufacturers but maintain overseas supply lines and keep the overall market competitive. The quotas could be varied depending on changes in local capacity. Yes we've got trade agreements all over the place but the world is moving towards self interest whether we like it or not. No reason for us to be the only clean skin. We should base all future trade agreements on reciprocity ie if you can act unilaterally to protect your own interests (eg any large Asian supplier) then so can we.
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    5:38pm
    Good sentiment Viking, but wouldn't it be better for our govt to subsidize our produce/products to the same level as the Chinese do for theirs?

    Expansive rather than contractive. Hey!.
    Viking
    11th May 2020
    6:15pm
    Lookfar. Yes you could do that but a quota is effectively a user pays subsidy because it allows prices to rise but moderated by the comparative import prices. As a quota only allows a specified quantity to be imported which renders exporter subsidies ineffective whereas a manufacturing subsidy here might encourage the exporting nation to increase its exporter support. As we know, the selling prices on many items imported from China bear no relationship to the production cost so a local manufacturing subsidy would probably lead to only a slight reduction in importer margins.

    There may be several ways of going about it but like you and many more I'd just just love to see a return of of our manufacturing dignity.
    Nikolai
    7th May 2020
    5:41pm
    What a lot of racists, I spent as holiday in China some years ago, it was spotless - no litter, no people sleeping on the streets and people were friendly. Of course we all prefer to buy Australian made but a lot of us cant afford to and I have never had any problems with items made in Asia. I am far more concerned at our government being the mouthpiece of Trump who is trying to start world war 3 to cover his inadequacies and no I am not a labour voter
    Grey
    8th May 2020
    12:34pm
    We are the lone voices. What Australian made products? I challenge the skeptics DO BUY AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTS ONLY.
    I am sure it is only talk.
    The Free Trade rule was and is imposed by us and US, get it?
    Incognito
    8th May 2020
    2:32pm
    https://www.australianmade.com.au/

    This website shows some products.
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2020
    11:27am
    How about the air pollution in China, Nikolai?

    I, too, am hugely concerned about our Australian Govt being a mouthpiece for Trump, especially considering his business operations in Russia. How this individual ever became President of USA is a blight on all Americans, even though Clinton received 3 million more votes than he did, but that's the result when there's no compulsory voting and powerful people can stop the poor from voting, which is happening right now as well. When Trump says such blatantly stupid things, on such a regular basis, we understand he's talking to Trump voters, who, I'm sorry to judge, are plainly stupid or brainwashed.

    But you can't say you're too poor to buy Australian if you can afford to go on overseas holidays, Nikolai. I haven't been overseas since the 1980's but I still buy (and manufacture Australian-made goods!) when I can. It costs more but quality means value. I used to buy cheap toasters and kettles from K-Mart when I was young and penniless, but though I now pay 3-4 times more, these items last for 5 times longer AND I don't have to go toaster- and kettle-free so often, until I rush out for a replacement.
    Pass the Ductape
    7th May 2020
    5:43pm
    We need to develop far more trade with other countries other than relying China- they have us by the proverbials otherwise. It has always annoyed me greatly that we send our best produce to China, but in return, THEIR exports to us are little more than overpriced rubbish fit for nothing but throwing into the bin! Our retail shops don't seem to sell anything else!
    Incognito
    7th May 2020
    5:53pm
    And giving us a big landfill problem.
    Grey
    8th May 2020
    12:37pm
    I Challenge, name which nations. I am not saying you are racist. I am saying you are NOT WELL INFORMED
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2020
    11:29am
    Germany, UK, Japan, South Korea?
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2020
    11:44am
    And if quality goods from large economies such as Germany, UK, Japan, South Korea are expensive, it's because their economies are decent and fair to their workers. So now we can compare apples with apples (fair working conditions), maybe Australian-made CAN compete on production of most small goods, maybe even quality cars?

    Perhaps Australia and NZ could set up a Pacific manufacturing bloc? Then the whole South Pacific wouldn't be forced to choose between China and USA. We might even gain enough power to eject all those huge foreign-owned super trawlers from native waters.

    While we're at it, let's get rid of Northern Hemisphere countries from Antarctica. They have no business to be there in the first place. All they do is pollute that pristine environment and we all know they want to mine it if they can. Get Japanese whaling vessels out of there too, along with all the other Northern Hemisphere countries and their fishing fleets.
    Incognito
    14th May 2020
    2:32pm
    Sounds like a good plan to me HooHoo, maybe you should have a look at Sea Shepard website who are fighting the fight against Japanese whaling.
    Nomad1946
    7th May 2020
    5:48pm
    It’d be a damn good idea that we all stop buying Chinese made products .. Totally. Australia should ban all and any Chinese investment in Australia .... buy back the farm.
    Revitalise our industries, restart those that have been closed ....
    Pass the Ductape
    7th May 2020
    6:29pm
    I tried that Nomad, but it's damn difficult to convince any retailer that you mean business.
    Told many a shop keeper that if they only intended to stock items made in China I would simply go without! The answer received usually followed along the lines of - "Sorry mate, I agree with you 100%, but I don't do the ordering." Or - "No-one else makes it, so it's this or nothing!" Well I'm getting used to 'nothing' - and saving money into the bargain.
    PlanB
    10th May 2020
    1:13pm
    Yes, I have had the same replies --
    Time to stand up to this /these governments and demand what we want !
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    7:34pm
    Fine, Nomad, just try buying back the farm from America, - last time it was tried the Americans changed the Govt, - don't under estimate their power.
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2020
    11:58am
    I don't think farmland should be allowed to be sold to ANY foreign companies. Farms are unlike other investment because farming includes soil and water management and the land may have Native Title and sacred sites, which should always be preserved in Australia's and Australian's interests.

    That said, why the hell do we let foreign mining companies rape the land and water, as they do? Whenever they're done with the raping and they leave an environmental disaster in their wake, they declare bankruptcy to avoid paying for the clean up. This is EXACTLY what Adani has done in the past. Shift the profits to personal tax havens and then cry poor. The cheating bastards!
    And aren't we the sucker fools for allowing them to mine coal in QLD, taking ground water and destroying sacred sites against the native custodians' wishes?
    Incognito
    14th May 2020
    2:34pm
    You want to have a look at what Clive Palmer is doing (trying to) HooHoo, not always foreign owned.
    bartpcb
    7th May 2020
    6:56pm
    It's time we stopped buying into the hysteria driven by the US propaganda machine.
    ronloby
    7th May 2020
    7:05pm
    Just tell China to Bu**er off. Ther are also trying to take over some small countries in the Pacific by "Lending" them money or building infostructure for them. Most medication is made in China and we don't know how safe it is. That is why the Australian Baby Formula is exported Illegally by Chinese people in Australia because they know it is safe.
    PlanB
    10th May 2020
    1:16pm
    Yes, China takes over by stealth -- lends money -- when they can't repay they walk in -- other than Aussie and our government just allows them to walk in and lines the government's pockets -- BLOODY DISGRACE!
    Hoohoo
    14th May 2020
    2:06pm
    Agreed, PlanB. It is a BLOODY DISGRACE!
    inextratime
    7th May 2020
    7:11pm
    Automation is the secret ! Manufacturing in the 2020s can be massively automated to eliminate massive manual labour. Ok before anyone says how do we stimulate employment we still need the basics associated with manufacturing whare housing and distribution which we have to have with imported products i.e. same fixed costs. Loads of manufacturing= more employment, more distributors more transport. less dependency on thr big C .
    floss
    7th May 2020
    7:14pm
    A lot of the goods coming out of China are junk that i try not to purchase only as a last resort.Long term letting our manufacturing run down will be a disaster .The last six months has been a warning but will our leaders take notice i think not.
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    7:43pm
    More Used to be, floss, but like Japan, Taiwon, South Korea, etc, they learnt and with the stimulus support of their Govt, - came good.

    What stimulus has our Govt gave to any of our industries except expediting sales of our assets to the English, then the Japanese, and now the Chinese, who have to go through the same politician bribery so what choice have they?
    floss
    7th May 2020
    7:24pm
    Interesting to note one State owned Chinese farm has just purchased 7000 meg of our much needed water ,come on Morrison get onto it and you call your self Australian.
    Grey
    8th May 2020
    12:44pm
    Again I challenge you to challenge the politicians . Either you got it all wrong or you will get the "right" replies from all politicians but no action. WHY ? They cannot because of our OWN AND US FREE TRADE RULES. Remember " What is good for the goose is good for the gander" We forced our rules on the world now we complain?

    WE lost on the very rules we set.
    Viking
    11th May 2020
    8:20pm
    Grey and that's because we don't insist on reciprocity in our trade agreements. If we demanded that foreign exporter/ investor counties were accorded only the same rights and conditions they allow us we wouldn't have these issues.
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    8:52pm
    Floss, I agree, it is obscene that the govt of the driest continent on Earth is allowed to sell OUR water to the highest overseas bidder, - we never gave the govt our water, our air our sunlight, - just what is going on with this?
    Incognito
    11th May 2020
    9:03pm
    And they want to allow 12.5 billion litres for Adani's coal mine too. Absurd, while farmers in the area will run dry.
    Hoohoo
    12th May 2020
    7:05pm
    Utter disgrace! Like selling the golden goose.

    They've sold their souls for 30 pieces of silver.
    Viking
    12th May 2020
    9:13pm
    Now they're taking advantage of the virus to buy our property cheap but have stopped our barley and meat exports. We need to smarten up and diversify our markets or learn to live with an increasingly recalcitrant buyer. It would help too if in the meantime our politicians would smarten up, learn some diplomacy and the fact that there is no benefit in continuously goading the irritable bear if it's only going to result in pain for us.
    Misty
    14th May 2020
    9:01pm
    Try buying water or land in China and see how far you get.
    Ted Wards
    8th May 2020
    8:58am
    Our purchases creates demand which is met through supply. Everytime we buy something from China or any other country we are creating the demand for that item. So how do we stop this? Simple, buy Australian made. However this creates an issue because apart from food and wine, there's not a lot else made in Australia. So next time you are in a supermarket and reach for the cheaper product, check the label, is it made in Australia from Australian products? If not, then its your choice alone. Your clothes, are they made in Australia from materials from Australia? That's a harder one but yes there are many brands that are Australian from Australian sourced products. It takes effort, but once we all start, our demand will create the need for Australian companies to come back to Australia and use Australian sourced stuff. Are you prepared to back your country in this way, all the time?
    Incognito
    8th May 2020
    2:34pm
    Supermarkets often do not support Australian made because they cannot get it in large enough quantities or cheap enough, here is worth a look:
    https://www.australianmade.com.au/
    Mondo
    10th May 2020
    5:33pm
    Ted Ward, I agree with most of what you say. A major challenge is to get younger buyers who have neither memory nor experience of buying great Australia clothing and fashion to change. Most of us oldies remember the brands that were made in Australia and the feel of natural, local cotton and wool. I still have several Gloweave shirts and pure wool sweaters probably over 30 years old which are still more comfortable to wear than anything from China. We have 50 year old bed sheets still in great condition received as a wedding gift; Chinese sheets bought half that time ago didn't even retire good enough to become dust sheets. For the last several years the retailers have been complaining about the lack of sales and whole retail chains have closed but no-one has asked the question why? One simple reason is they nearly all sell the same cheap rubbish made in China from synthetic fabrics. Retailers ditched the financial benefits of flexible, just in time delivery from local manufacturers, the ability to restock on popular sizes and colours and the cease when the demand or weather changed. Imagine the out of season, out of fashion stock now jamming up the warehouses and costing a fortune?

    Its just the same with so many products; Sidchrome and their great quality tools lost me when Made in Australia became Made in China. They are products you buy for life and you keep enjoying the quality long after forgetting the slightly higher price. There is nothing cheap about being stuck with a broken machine in the outback with a split spanner socket or out on a small ship with the hex stripped off a diesel injector pump plug. Interestingly Caterpillar and a number of other US manufacturers have move back to local componentry manufacture because of the reputational damage when Chinese bearings cripple $500,000 contractor's earth movers. How many 'components' in the few remaining products that we still make could do the same or in the case of pharmaceuticals, far worse? We need to change to Australian made for our future wellbeing and national pride in our own abilities.
    Incognito
    10th May 2020
    6:37pm
    Great comment, I hope you have checked out the Australian made website whatever your name is . ? There is a tool company in Australia I have heard of called Sutton Tools. Trouble with clothing people want to keep up with the latest fashion and do not care about long lasting anymore. Also op shops are full of clothes that people keep changing even when they are still good. Finding quality products is getting harder but it is possible but only as long as you can afford it, you have to way up cost with how long it will last and often you do not know how long it will last. Online stores like Kogan are not doing extremely well because people want quality, they want cheap, sadly.
    PlanB
    11th May 2020
    10:36am
    A great story and so true -- again with clothes -- if you buy good quality and a classic style then you can wear them and still be 'in' many decades after -- I have not had to buy clothes for so long and they are still in fashion -- and in good nick too
    Viking
    11th May 2020
    2:27pm
    I totally agree. I had the Caterpillar problem on a smaller scale. I sold a 24 year old Rover mower, a great machine, only because I moved to a place with steep slopes and needed a two stroke engine. I bought a Victa which needed three new engines during the warranty period due to rubbish Chinese bearings. Eventually the dealer said I've got an old Australian made engine, would you like me to fit that? Ive not had a problem since. We have to get back to being an industrialised nation for self reliance, independence, meaningful jobs for our young, the economy and national pride to be able to stand on our own feet.
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    8:11pm
    Thats the Go Ted, - I am currently trying to build an electric pump firetruck, - faster and cheaper and safer but it seems No electric pumps made in Australia any more.
    Unless We All start to take it seriously we will be buying Bread from overseas soon, - streuth.
    Viking
    11th May 2020
    8:38pm
    We have more enthusiasm in these posts than in the entire federal industry ministry. Where is our industry minister, who is she, what is she doing, where is the vision, strategy and leadership in re-industrialising that we so desperately need right now? This is the best most exciting opportunity we have had in 30 years and its now that we need high value job creation. I did hear a blond give a sound bite on ABC TV today but it was the usual polly-waffle. It didn't say 'yes let's grab the opportunity and go.' Does anyone remember the slogan 'those who have a go get a go?' Where the bloody hell are you?
    Hoohoo
    17th May 2020
    3:38pm
    All great comments here, but Viking it was Morrison talking to unemployed people (and the need for them to exist on a pittance) when he said 'those who have a go get a go'.

    But Australian manufacturers also need a leg up, and I don't mean across the board company tax cuts, most of which will leach straight out of Australia into foreign havens (like from the big 4 banks).
    Viking
    17th May 2020
    4:03pm
    Hoohoo, I know it was Morrison who said it but he said it as the government leader of which presumably the ineffective industry minister is a part. Surely if industry needs a leg up it's up to the industry minister to be advocating for that and I don't hear or see any action in that regard. In fact the last utterance I heard from anyone in the government was the flat earth response of 'we're an open trading nation and benefit from open markets.' That's as maybe but the world has changed in the last few months, our big brother ally has seen to that with its effective deminuation of the WTO and our major trading partner is playing games so if our open border policy naivly continues in the face of these changes we will be the losers.
    Geminiwoman
    8th May 2020
    10:38am
    I would have thought the fact that China is buying up everything from China right down to and including Australia and New Zealand would have been enough to warn us of the impending doom. China has practically bought up some of the Islands on the way down here and have bought up so very many of the Australian commercial premises and farms that we hardly own anything any more. All the products, especially meat from the farms they have bought all go back to China. I believe that if this isn't stopped soon, in 10 - 20 years time we'll all be speaking Chinese, they will have bought us out completely. I staunchly believe that no-one, other than Australian Citizens should be allowed to buy up Australian Land and Businesses.
    Grey
    8th May 2020
    12:54pm
    You thought wrong because Australian economy totally depends on China, the most dependent in the world . The politicians can BS you because they cannot change it. Better brains than you or Scomo have studied this. If you are a business would you sell to the lowest bidder? And you still believe in our politicians? They are not God.
    Only way is to move to the USA but they still owe China 1 trillion which Trump is trying to avoid but it would not be ethical or legal. They tried that on Iran. Obama thought it was wrong to cheat.
    PlanB
    11th May 2020
    10:38am
    We never depended on China in the 40s & 50s -- and we went well them and made EVERYTHING our selves AND we all have jobs too
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    5:14pm
    Gemini woman, China is early in it's industrial revolution, we have to choose Australian made goods if we want them, not blame the poor country that can't do that yet, in fact we should stimulate Quality Australian products because the Chinese will happily buy them, they have a tradition of cherishing quality, - it just needs the Oz Govt to stimulate those areas of Australian expertise and endeavour.
    - Countries whose Govt does not support local industry, - by whatever means, can not compete with countries that support their local industry, - the world changed in the 1930 ties, Australia was still sleeping, - but now, - time to wake up.
    Priscilla
    8th May 2020
    11:30am
    Anyone with half-a-brain could see where this was leading. Governments across the world are responsible for putting us in this incidious position. Since handing everything over to China, most employment available is temporary or part-time and unions have been 'nuted'. China is bleeding everything it can from all countries; water, wood etc., leaving farmers unable to access water on their farms etc. This is thanks to governments to hand out 100 year leases to China to pillage our country.
    Grey
    8th May 2020
    12:56pm
    Sadly Yes. Come up with a better solution. Better brains than yours in the world have pondered this,
    GrayComputing
    8th May 2020
    3:24pm
    THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR LISTENING TO ECONOMISTS.
    99% are B.S. economic snake oil merchants.
    Economics is centered mainly on how to control the masses.
    It is certainly not about how to get the poor masses of the world out of poverty.
    Jennifer
    8th May 2020
    5:27pm
    I agree with Geminiwoman and with Brissiegirl - BUY NOTHING THAT IS MADE IN CHINA, you will find a similar or alternative product. We as a nation really need to boycott all China made products as much as possible and yes, stop China from taking over our country. This is what is happening right before our eyes. Yes, nobody EXCEPT AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BUY UP AUSTRALIAN LAND AND BUSINESSES. GET DARWIN BACK FROM THESE …………….Also, what a farce that China should be allowed to take back our baby formula along with faulty medical supplies that China then tries to sell to us. How can we convince our politicians to step up, save Australia from the China invaders. This is not multi culturalism - this is China power and greed.
    Jennifer
    8th May 2020
    5:27pm
    I agree with Geminiwoman and with Brissiegirl - BUY NOTHING THAT IS MADE IN CHINA, you will find a similar or alternative product. We as a nation really need to boycott all China made products as much as possible and yes, stop China from taking over our country. This is what is happening right before our eyes. Yes, nobody EXCEPT AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BUY UP AUSTRALIAN LAND AND BUSINESSES. GET DARWIN BACK FROM THESE …………….Also, what a farce that China should be allowed to take back our baby formula along with faulty medical supplies that China then tries to sell to us. How can we convince our politicians to step up, save Australia from the China invaders. This is not multi culturalism - this is China power and greed.
    Incognito
    8th May 2020
    11:54pm
    Start with the pollies doing deals with China then move onto the millionaires and billionaires who are doing deals with China.
    PlanB
    9th May 2020
    12:07pm
    These mongrel governments and their lobbyists are the ones that are the cause of our problems and they also wait till other things are on peoples minds to pass many things -- and mostly the people are to enamored in other UNIMPORTANT stuff -- to be fussed -- its time we all stood up to be counted and if we did they would know that there are more of us than there are of them!
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    4:42pm
    There is a number of important things to understand in this debate, - firstly, whilst Australia and New Zealand offer each other stimulating and different scenery, we both grow lotsa stuff and particularly sheep and cows, so on the international playing field, we are in competition with each other, also in the Mining industry we are bot usually in competition.
    I am not saying that mutual stand together agreements could not benefit us to stand against the Multinational corporations who try to play us against each other, to keep our miners at the lowest possible wage, indeed much could be done there, - after all, when the mines are mined out there should be something to replace them, or they should be dug less ferociously.
    America, when you look at it, is a country also with lots of Agricultural land and mineral resources, so in that way is also a competitor, and fully aware of it.
    America and Australia both developed Manufacturing, America on a much bigger scale, but the big Multinationals in America bought our Oz companies and when it suited them closed us down, Holden being just about the last, whereas China has never really had enough of it's own food nor minerals for it's huge population so have re-invented themselves as the largest Manufacturing country in the world, - the natural buyer of Australian and New Zealand produce and minerals, - in direct competition with America, our supposed buddy but in reality we are vassals of America, of the American World Empire, although America itself is enslaved to the Super Rich, - the 36 families, the 701 multibillionaires, perhaps the nemesis of Greed to destroy the Human race, and a good argument could be made that that is so.
    However, that is not my focus right now, but it is that it is in our interest to continue our relationship with China, we should not allow the Americans to pit us against the very country that is supporting us economically.

    It should be noticed that China had very little money and huge numbers of starving people after the 2nd world war, but they pulled themselves up in the Keynesian way by their own bootstraps, investing all their potential capital into real economic undertakings, - infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, so that that potential capital became real capital, - as America did in the 1930/40 -ties but after that the big money moved in with 'Economic Rationalism' and took all that capital for themselves, a paean for greed, that had no patience for the people of America and their democratic Constitution, the which they have now almost destroyed.

    The Chinese have however basically kept the ownership of their internal industries and resources, the which we should have also but for our corrupt politicians of the time.

    An Australian true liaison with New Zealand should be, imho a political liaison, where both countries and our web of Oceanic island states become one independant zone, - not under the control of the Americans any more, and able to bargain with the Chinese on a mutually beneficial basis, the which they are quite good at, and in Economics we must have Trust, - the Chinese know that, the Americans exploit it.

    In the next few weeks, the American puppet govt of the 36 families, will try to divert our attention from their idiocy to blame and even make war on, China, on grounds of people killed of just a fraction of what the Monsanto product Round-up has done all over the world, let alone all the wars.

    We in Oceana will not benefit from such a war, - even now we have lost our Barley crop to American propaganda, - Faugh on you Morrison for licking Trumps boots, were you aware? - so now our American owned media will try to whip us into some war against Their enemy, - not Ours.

    Let's stop thinking of ourselves as dependant on American military, buying incredibly shody, expensive, war machines that only fit into Their Offensive military, but building our own Defensive defence systems with all our neighbours, so we can live in harmony and freedom, and treat each others as equal human beings.

    Yes I know about the Wuhan thing, - as I said the US does not take responsibility for Round-up, but here is another point,
    https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/19391-sars-cov-2-could-have-escaped-from-a-lab-and-the-us-is-in-the-frame

    is the US funded Chinese lab to blame or the US funded US labs that failed so much they were closed, - does it matter?

    Perhaps as say the folk that wrote that article, we should not have those Labs any more, - what do you my fellow Y L C's think?
    Incognito
    11th May 2020
    6:27pm
    Very interesting and informative comment LookFar. I agree with the fact the pesticides (Monsanot/Bayer) are killing off people slowly, but nothing it accounted for. How can you can deaths from those people who accumulated toxins in their bodies that eventually lead to sickness then early death? Be aware that they are already getting ready to replace Roundup with possible something even more toxic when people are pushing for Roundup to be banned.
    Our current PM (Scott Morrison) of course is friendly with Trump but reasons could be varied, but is he friendly with Boris Johnson or any other PM in the world? And why?
    I agree we should not be dragged into something that US want to fight but history says we seem to always get dragged into it and losing and maiming many of our soldiers and for what benefit?
    I agree with the fact we do not need those labs, why do they keep testing things? For who's benefit? The world is being run as you say by multi-billionaires who are becoming more dangerous as they get more power and say in the world, think Bill Gates who has no medical degree but is allowed to talk about health and vaccines in particular because he has vested interests alongside Dr Fauci and his friends.
    But be careful Lookfar you will no doubt be called a conspiracists by a few members here, just for questioning things. And also the article will be debunked because we can't be spreading 'fake' news as some people will call it. This is how it works, someone speaks out, then that someone gets debunked and often loses their position/job and called out as a fake new spreader, this is what we will continue to see while American owned media control what people are hearing on TV and reading online news.
    Lookfar
    11th May 2020
    8:01pm
    Hi incognito, I don't expect to live too long with saying what I believe to be true, but I believe I have a lot more to say so they better be quick, as I have not stopped. :)

    Cheers.
    Incognito
    11th May 2020
    8:55pm
    Good on you, I feel we need to question everything and make sure we keep our democratic rights that are slowly being taken away. Got to keep the pollies to account for their actions and make them earn their huge incomes too.
    john
    12th May 2020
    10:21am
    This is an absolute , China cannot be trusted , its the CCP and its in their DNA to only care about gain for themselves at anyone's cost even their own peoples.

    Right now we should be looking elsewhere for trading partners!
    Lookfar
    12th May 2020
    10:41am
    John, those "absolutes" apply even more strongly to America, the birthplace of "salesmanship", - eg Dale Carnegies' "How to win friends and influence people." that the Chinese should start using the Classic Con book of all time is totally understandable, but shouldn't you be blaming the Americans rather than the Chinese?
    PlanB
    12th May 2020
    10:48am
    The whole world these days -- except for a few of us --is based on absolute GREED and that is what is destroying the planet, it is very sad because greed will destroy the planet --
    Incognito
    12th May 2020
    4:02pm
    Sadly it already has PlanB but we have hope, there are movements among the young that will hopefully see positive changes once these old white collar white men die off.
    PlanB
    14th May 2020
    2:52pm
    Yes Incognito, I hope it is not too darn late
    Priscilla
    12th May 2020
    4:46pm
    Greedy business have caused this problem with the help of China. This has made China wealthy and in control whilst the rest of the world is suffering unemployment with only casual employment available. Permanent jobs are definitely hard to find. Hospitals and health departments that used to employ staff on a permanent basis now only offer 6-12 month contracts, doing away with long service leave etc. Governments must be really stupid if they could not see this coming! They also got rid of unions so they could drive down wages. No one, except top executives, has received an increase in salary/pay for many years and yet everything increases every day. Time for governments to make sure farmers have access to water and stop selling it to China and other countries whilst our farmers cannot grow crops. Also dairy farmers are practically non-existent because of these policies. Wake up!!!
    Incognito
    12th May 2020
    5:27pm
    I am more worried about the 12.5 billion litres of water that Adani coal mine wants to use, the farmers in that area will lose out.
    All you have to do is stop buying from companies that pay their CEO's too much money and do not look after their staff.
    Lookfar
    12th May 2020
    6:10pm
    Priscilla, I doubt it is fair to blame China for the ills of the Western world, - they came after.
    Early in Australia's history the English rich came and bought or took huge farm areas in Australia, but after WW1, they had lots of debt and sold some then America became a world power and bought much of the English 'Stations', and whatever else they could lay their greedy hands on and then after WW2 the Japanese seemed to be buying up heaps too, - we all thought the Japanese lost the war ?
    Now the Chinese seem to want to live here, but please mark my words, the Americans hold the majority of foreign owned land in Australia, and also our media, much of our Industry, and our politicians, - as if on a string, they just twitch when their American masters tap.
    The Americans regarded Socialism as their heart blood enemy, - as it was, - for the Rich, - all this stuff you can find for your self on the Web, or in your local library, always try to look at the broader picture.

    In Australia, the American definition of Socialism was not very meaningful, - sure we had our upper class would be aristocracy but we had our Constitution, and we were a bit closer to the Magna Carter and all that, but the Americans saw us as Theirs.

    Well now the Chinese are challenging the American ownership of the world, - probably about bloody time as they have become exceedingly corrupt, and it just so happens that our economy and China's work well together, whereas we always competed with America, - as I have explained above.

    As we enter this new world we have to let all that past stuff go, - but look at it dispassionately, what did we lose, what did we gain? - Why?

    In the longer term we have to find our own future, our freedom to express Australia, our freedom each one to learn how to love, - part of this is being free of external shackles, - yes we have to become free of America, but not just replace it with China.

    This is our task to give to the next generation, = help them totally shake their feet of the US, and help them have an open non-subservient relationship with China and the rest of our world.

    If this requires that we lean strongly on our basically gutless political class, so be it, - you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

    I hope you see that we are basically agreeing?
    Incognito
    12th May 2020
    7:12pm
    Chinese are back buying our real estate, seen on Current Affair tonight, taking advantage of Australians not able to buy at the moment and while prices are down.
    PlanB
    14th May 2020
    2:58pm
    Yes, the Chinese are buying everything up -- and I have to ask WHY the hell are we allowing this to take place --it is dead wrong --
    I know America has a hell of a lot to answer for as does Britain -- and also a LOT of out bloody politicians!
    Misty
    14th May 2020
    9:13pm
    Lookfar when it comes to the USA and China buying our land and business I know which one I would prefer and it doesn't start with C.
    Hoohoo
    30th May 2020
    12:48pm
    Agreed, Misty, but USA is only the lesser of two evils. I just wish Australia didn't see itself as having to choose between these two tyrants.

    I'd like to see Australia and New Zealand lead a South Pacific Pact that excluded superpowers and protected small nations from New Guinea to Oceania, maybe even to South America. The trouble is that USA owns so much of it, also countries like France who really have no right to have influence in the Pacific (especially since the death and destruction caused by nuclear testing, USA included with those crimes against the Earth).
    Lookfar
    13th May 2020
    10:53am
    Hi Iincognito, my how things have changed, I recall when I was young, the Liberal party always banging on about "Attracting Foreign Investment," - this was how they were able to reinvent themselves as 'the economic managers', although I must admit that I felt at the time that the Americans weren't doing that investment for nothing, that surely they would get their money back with interest, then in the 70's, Whitlam was elected, and one thing they tried to do was Buy Back the Farm, - of course this was an enormous affront to the Liberals, who had been euphoric in their scrabble to Sell the Farm, and as of course the media being still as today under the control of the multinational corporations, the media went hysterical, and imputed all sorts of things about the Treasurer trying to get a better interest rate from the Arabs than from the greedy Americans.

    Of course the media didn't put it that way, and after 23 years of Liberal Govt the media knew which side it's bread was buttered so were able to pull off a media election and get the Liberals back in.

    Isn't it interesting how our collective consciousness has woken up to things somewhat and we now see Foreign Investment more accurately as The Chinese Stealing our Land.

    Unfortunately for them it is a bit late, the Americans have bought most of it Already.
    Incognito
    14th May 2020
    1:46am
    So why is the media always talking about the Chinese buying up? Is it because our media is mainly owned by Americans? Will Australia become the 53rd state of America?
    PlanB
    14th May 2020
    3:00pm
    I think we are already the 53 state and have been for quite some time
    Lookfar
    13th May 2020
    11:35am
    Piriscilla, apologies I did not address your statement that the Chinese have full employment and we don't, - that I do not dispute.

    Thing is, Why?
    Well, How did China get to the stage from impoverishment after WW2, to being the second largest economy in the world?
    Was it just because they work harder? - actually one Australian Combine Harvester is equal in production to thousands of hard working Chinese, so it is not that simple.

    The answer is what the Americans call Quantitative Easing, Trillions were given to the too big to fail corporations, some of whom were directly responsible for that economic disaster, - and it worked, and they didn't pay it back nor will ever, it is the same thing thatjapan did after the war, effectively Printed money, (call it buying bonds or whatever,) as then did Taiwon and South Korea, then finally China, and the economic theory called Economic Rationalism, was totally disproved.

    Except of course in good old Australia, oh no, we can't print our own money, just so we can have full employment, a better education and health system etc, can't have replaced our Coal mines with modern connected Renewable systems, - oh no, too expensive, better to have a significant percentage of a whole generation of younger Australians have nothing worthwhile to do when they leave school, and import trained workers from overseas to make up for the shabby school system failure.

    Unfortunately, economic "Rationalism", ie the belief system that the rich should have everything and bad luck everyone else, is still alive and well, - at least among the Rich, and wannabes', but it doesn't work if the rich get too rich, - as Rudd proved last time with his $1000; stimulus to almost everybody in Australia, - saved Australia, and now with our current pandemic. - stimulus required again.

    Hopefullly the penny will drop this time, and all these people crying out 'how can we pay it back' will be silenced by the majority Roar, We don't have to, We are Australian.

    After the Coved-19 event those foolish economic rationalists will try to go back to the old wrong way again, - with no addressing our real problems, - we musn't let them!!
    Incognito
    14th May 2020
    1:44am
    Yes I am sick of hearing how we have to pay back all this money through higher taxes and raising GST etc when in fact you are right we do not have to pay it back, they borrow from the Federal Bank and the bank is owned by the Government so why would they pay themselves back?
    and to think it is happening all over the world when countries lend money to the poorer companies and keep them poor and without good health systems or job opportunites because the Government is spending all the money trying to pay back all the loans, well that is the excuse they use, when all that has to happen is the loans could be wiped and then those poorer countries could look after their own people who are trying to escape to live in other countries, end of economic refugees.
    Am I right or not?
    Misty
    14th May 2020
    9:18pm
    If you can't buy Aussie made Thailand makes some nice clothing also Bangladesh does too, I know they are probably made with cheap child labor (Bangladesh), but I would prefer that to buying from the other country that has it's tentacles everywhere.
    Lookfar
    15th May 2020
    11:36am
    Misty, I wonder if you are pointing your gun at the real enemy, - i came across a quote from TC , by Clinton Fernandez, Professor, International and Political Studies, UNSW

    "Right now US corporations eclipse everyone else in their ability to influence our politics, through their investments in Australian stocks.

    Using company ownership data from Bloomberg, I analysed the ownership of Australia’s 20 biggest companies a few days after the 2019 federal election in May. Of those 20, 15 were majority-owned by US-based investors. Three more were at least 25% US-owned."

    Perhaps time for a reality check,? just because the US president hates the Chinese doesn't mean we have to say," yes sir no sir three bags full sir, if the US hates China so will we..sir.

    Throughout my business career, I found the Chimese far better than the Americans, the Americans only cared about getting your money, then suddenly you became a stranger ,"so you didn't get your order, we don't have time to worry about that, goodbye.

    In WW2, there were 3 complaints about the American soldiers, - "Over sexed, over rich and over here."

    I, for one, refuse to be told to hate the Chinese when the Americans are the real villains.
    Lookfar
    15th May 2020
    11:44am
    Reduce our dependance on foreign trade, - rebuild Australia's economy, yes and yes, - get rid of American dominance, yes yes yes.
    To check on the above quote, see, https://theconversation.com/worried-about-agents-of-foreign-influence-just-look-at-who-owns-australias-biggest-companies-123343
    Misty
    15th May 2020
    1:27pm
    It is not the Chinese people I have a problem with Lookfar , it is the way the country is governed, I would much prefer, where possible, that we deal with like minded countries and governments . If the worst happened and we were to be invaded by another country I know which one I would prefer and I also find most of those sticking up for China are people with business interest there.
    Lookfar
    15th May 2020
    5:25pm
    Misty, economics should really be separated from politics, but I see your point, - China is an Autocratic dictatorship, just like the 701 multi-billionaires want to make America into, their game plan Neo Liberalism.
    You feel to cling to the remnants of America's past, but that only encourages the new American Aristocracy to proceed, - it is all propaganda, we have to figure out our own way ourselves.
    In the past the Elders would help guide the younger Generations, our Elders want to stay half alive till everyone is dead, - this in not responsible, - you have to think Deeper, Sharper, More Widely, do research, abhor cliches, learn from your current life, - get out there and be prepared to be villified, - fight for what you believe in, - not sink into an old people's home valium dream.

    I know you are not like that, - prove it to me.
    Misty
    16th May 2020
    10:31am
    I live a very full and busy life Lookfar, I am 83 and have never taken Valium in my life, I know what sort of country and life I want for my grandchildren and it certainly isn't the sort of life you seem to be predicting will happen because of our ties with the USA. America's past has nothing to do with me and with the way I live and think.
    Lookfar
    16th May 2020
    12:53pm
    Very glad to hear that Misty, - I have always respected your opinions.

    On the other hand the world we live in is not in squeaky/perfect shape, so needs significant 'tweaking',
    Many of the young people have no time to understamd what has gone wrong, - let alone the education to analyse what they should do about it.
    I posit that we older folk must get involved and help them, - admittedly you are older than me, - I am only 71, but hope to keep gettting older..
    I feel quite strongly that older folk who vote on the future by selecting this party or that, without thinking extremely deeply about who they are voting for, may be setting in stone the destruction of the human race, - what do you think we should do?
    Misty
    16th May 2020
    7:27pm
    Well Lookfar when it comes to voting I don't know that there is a lot we can do to tell people who to vote for, I have 4 sons and we have many arguments over the dinner table, sometimes extremely heated as, according to their lifestyles and experiences they all vote differently to one another.
    I don't take any notice of shock jocks like Ray Hadley but a couple of my sons do, so as I say, we have many heated discussions about politics. Politicians these days leave a lot to be desired for I think and voters are too influenced by certain newspapers and TV hosts rather then researching things for themselves and finding out what is true and what is not.
    Incognito
    16th May 2020
    7:46pm
    I agree Misty, people need to read each parties policies to begin with, and I mean all of them not just the ones that appeal to them.
    gerry
    17th May 2020
    7:22am
    May be I should buy one of those submarines which will go over budget by 200%
    Remember how Fords andHolden were run by the Unions I had a Simca special with 5 on the floor ten years before Ford and and Holden were boasting 4 on the floor and that was because they didnt bother to innovate due to all the bother they would have with the unions
    OZ wages are double what they should be,due to all the materialism,,,,greed greed greed
    Due to the CFMEU most city buildings go over budget by 40%,,and now down tools if the temp goes over 28c,,,I,ve worked with these guys in many many jobs and I wouldnt buy even an Ozzie brush now,,China is buying more OZ land and water rights because they know whats coming,,,,,They will sort out the CFMEU in a few years
    Viking
    17th May 2020
    10:36am
    Well Gerry, Simca of France disappeared in 1978 nearly forty years before the Australian brands so not the most successful of cars. If you think Australia is hampered by unions then you should try getting work done in France where many industries and services are government owned or subsidised and the unions very powerful. Simca was originally owned by Fiat which had good technology but very poor reliability earning the reputation in Europe of Fix It Again Tony. Both France and Italy during the life of Simca were and are still largely effectively socialist nations. Ford and GM in Australia suffered the same problems as their US parents, the wrong cars for their time and both needed bailing out by the US government as a result of poor management.
    I believe even Ladas (a Fiat licensee) from the USSR had floor shifts before Holden or Ford in Australia so hardly the political or union issue that you suggest. My experience as a non union person is that poor management begets strong unions and if you think that the developers who commission most large buildings in Aus are clean skins you must be living on another planet.
    Misty
    17th May 2020
    2:22pm
    Not all unions are bad gerry, I found the union I belonged to helped me out when I was working as a Teacher's Aid, once when I was made redundant and also in the matter of wage increases and also when I worked as a DC Nursing Sister, the unions got us better working conditions and pay. The disparity in wages between workers and management is something that needs to be looked at, just look at the CEO wages of banks and big companies and some Public Servants, ridiculous, and don't give me that old argument, " If you pay peanuts you get monkeys", I think we have had quite a few monkeys in high paying jobs recently as the various Royal Commissions have shown.
    Priscilla
    17th May 2020
    1:43pm
    It is rediculous to depend on China. They are just bully boys who want to control not just Australia but the world! It is time to get back to manufacturing etc., in Australia and providing permanent jobs for Australians. Bring back decent wages/salaries for workers, not just people who earn millions to the detriment of the majority. Communism has always been a threat to our way of life and they are now flexing their muscles; thanks to stupid governments who have given them the upper hand by relying on them! Wake up!!
    Lookfar
    20th May 2020
    2:14pm
    Priscilla, the Chinese thing is a furphy, - you are correct in that we need to rebuild the economy of Australia, the which will take a far greater amount of money, - the which we have, than the covid-19 stimulus money.
    An Australia free of the Big Money parasites would be a wonderful place.
    Cheers.
    LornaH
    30th May 2020
    12:11pm
    Just because things are cheaper made overseas, does not mean that they are better - a lot of them are cheap and nasty. Even my chinese friends who are 1st-2nd generation, will not buy anything from China. We rely too much on China and now Australians must be weaned from them - enough is enough. I have been buying and making sure that food products and other items that I buy are Australian made, but sad to say that there's a lot of them made in China.
    Lookfar
    30th May 2020
    7:06pm
    The problem, LornaH is that very little is now made in Australia, - I searched far and wide and that very common item, - the electric water pump, is no longer made in Australia, nor many other items, - yes it
    is a govt policy over 20 or more years, but not our policy.
    The Chinese, like any business, are simply taking advantage of that there is no competition due to Australian Govt. destruction of Australia's manufacturing capability.

    Is this not Traitorous behaviour?


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